Monday, 31 January 2011

Picid in Focus: Rufous-bellied Woodpecker Dendrocopos hyperythrus

This handsome species is found in upland mixed and broadleaved forests in SE Asia from Pakistan through northern India, Nepal, Burma, parts of China and south into Thailand and Indochina. There are four races and some populations are migratory. It is also rather confiding and approachable. Photo: Female marshalli race, Pangot, Uttarakhand, India, Gerard Gorman.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Picid in Focus: Brown-backed Woodpecker Dendropicos obsoletus

This small woodpecker is found in the bushy and scrubby savanna belt of sub-Saharan Africa in Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zaire, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It also occurs in semi-urban areas. Four races are recognised: obsoletus, heuglini, ingens and crateri. They differ in size, darkness of the mantle and back and amount of streaking on the underparts. Photo: Male nominate race, Gambia, Vaughan Ashby.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Genus: Dendropicos

The Dendropicos genus comprises 15 small species that are all found in forests and woodlands in sub-Saharan Africa. All are basically green-coloured on the upper parts with pale underparts often barred. Sexual dimorphism is shown in plumage with males having red on the crown or nape which females lack. Some species, eg. Abysinian Woodpecker, Stierling's Woodpecker, Elliot's Woodpecker, have restricted ranges are are rather understudied. Photo: Male Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens, Gambia, Vaughan Ashby.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Picid in Focus: Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos macei.

This is a polytypic species with 5 races (macei, westermani, andamanensis, longipennis and analis). It is a typical arboreal, medium-sized 'pied' woodpecker, some 18-19cm long. The male has a red crown (as in the photo here) and the female a black crown. It occurs in parts of the Indian subcontinent and SE Asia where it is locally not uncommon in open mixed woodlands, forest edges and wooded cultivated land. Photo: Male Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Northern India, Szabolcs Kokay.